We make chinks in a wide variety of styles, materials and sizes. If you would like to see a few pair we have made, take a look at our chink gallery. In our FAQ section below we answer many questions about chinks in general and about our chinks specifically. Please take a look around.
Chinks are a shorter, more adjustable form of chaps that usually feature more fringe than the traditional shotgun chap and are held around the leg with buckles or snaps rather than zippers. In Nevada, Oregon, Idaho and California many chinks are laced shut and the wearer steps into them.
They can be a handy accessory for all riders, even those who don't spend all day in the saddle. They can keep the rider warmer in the winter, protect the outside of the leg from brush and minimize rope burns, protect the inside of the rider's knee, and help grip the saddle as well.
We build chinks for working cowboys and pleasure riders both, but all are made to stand up to years of wear. We start with a leather most appropriate to their use. Heavier leather is the best choice if the rider is going to be in brushy country. A lighter weight leather is more appropriate if they are for occasional use or in hotter climates. Depending on the type of leather used to make the chinks, prices may vary.
All of our chinks are made with a top belt and side pieces of the same or contrasting leather, depending on customer preference. Sometimes customers will request these pieces be stamped or accented with silver trim, which is available at additional cost.
Most chinks are made with two thicknesses of leather at the top. One is the top belt and the other is the top of the chink leg itself. If the chinks are going to see hard use we will put a third layer there, which is called an inside belt. This is cut of very soft leather so it will easily conform to the body. Usually we do not put an inside belt on youth or kid's chinks, but it is available upon request.
A front leather tie string and a back belt with a buckle is standard. Although a front buckle arrangement is handy while you are getting used to putting on and taking off your leggings, it can be dangerous. If the front of your chinks ever gets hung on the saddle horn, you are tied to your horse. That may not be the best place for you depending on what type of wreck you're in. A string will break, a buckle strap won't always let go.
We will put a buckle in the front as long as our client is aware of the risk. We will also use fairly lightweight leather for this buckle strap.
All of our chinks feature three buckles for adjustment on each leg unless the customer would be better served with only two buckles, such as for a child, youth or small adult. We only use roller buckles as they are easier to fasten and unfasten and can be quickly unbuckled in case of emergency. The straps are made of Indian tan leather for strength and durability.
A second thickness of leather at the top of the leg is also standard to prevent this area from stretching or prematurely wearing out. Depending on the type of leather used, we will either cut the leg higher and then roll the excess over to the outside of the leg or sew in a second layer.
Knee pads are also standard. This is a second layer of leather at the inside of the knee to give that area a bit more protection and cushioning. They can be smooth leather or suede, depending on how much grip against the saddle our client prefers.
All of are chinks are fringed, unless otherwise specified. I have made some with scallops around them, but fringes are more traditional. There is an additional charge if the fringe is longer than 6 inches.
A pair with all of the standard features mentioned above will cost around $240. Expect to pay more for extras like longer fringe, stamped top belt and side pieces, silver trim, etc. Some specialty leathers may also cost us more to purchase, which will affect the price.
While color is important, I believe that choosing the right leather should take precedence. If color is most important to the client then we are sure to tell you what to expect from the leather choice you have made. Many times I advise my clients to the type of leather I think would be most suitable for the application and then we try to locate it in the right color.
One of our suppliers offers almost any color under the sun. However, their leather is lighter weight and very glovey. While this is a positive thing for some people, it wouldn't be the right choice for others. The heavier weight leathers that would be best for working cowboys or people who log a lot of miles in the saddle are usually available in just earth tones.
We also work very closely with our local leather supplier. We can get swatches of different leathers from them to send to our clients. These samples can be quite helpful when making decisions about color and weight.
Once we have an idea what our customer wants, we go take a look at what is available. If there are no exact matches but several possibilities, we get swatches and then send them to our client for approval.
When we make chinks to actual measurements, we can be sure they will fit. Measuring is essential if you do not have an average body type. From time to time we will have some stock chinks available, but usually do them made-to measure.
Measuring for leggings of any kind is a two-person job. Please see our chink measuring page for step-by-step photos and instructions.